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Virginia Tech shocks Duke to complete stunning run to ACC tournament championship

Written by on March 13, 2022

NEW YORK — For the second time in seven days, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski was denied a seminal second within the twilight of his teaching profession.

After rival North Carolina spoiled his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium final Saturday, it was upstart Virginia Tech that knocked off the Blue Devils in Coach Okay’s remaining look within the ACC Match within the remaining Saturday at Brooklyn’s Barclays Heart.

Enjoying their fourth recreation in 4 days, the seventh-seeded Hokies (23-12) clinched a berth in subsequent week’s NCAA Match with a surprising 82-67 win over top-seeded Duke behind a blistering offensive efficiency from Hunter Cattoor.

The junior guard hit his first six 3-point photographs on the best way to a career-high 31 factors because the Hokies return to Blacksburg with an ACC Match title of their first championship look. Virginia Tech turns into the bottom seed to win the event.

“I feel they’re the staff they thought they have been going to be,” Coach Okay stated postgame. “We could not cease them. He (Cattoor) had a Klay Thompson type of night time.”

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The loss for Duke provides an unlucky footnote in an extended chapter of dominance within the ACC Match for Krzyzewski, who fell in need of his 16th title forward of his retirement on the conclusion of this season.

Krzyzewski finishes with a 15-7 document in ACC title video games —  he went 1-1 in Brooklyn finals with a win in 2017— passing legendary UNC coach Dean Smith (21) for probably the most championship appearances in league historical past.

“I am happy with the best way we performed this week. Clearly, we’re disenchanted we misplaced within the championship however that does not outline how effectively we performed this entire week,” Coach Okay stated. 

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Duke (28-6), which defeated Syracuse and Miami on the highway to the ultimate, entered the night with an outdoor shot at a No. 1 seed within the NCAA Match however will seemingly accept a second or third seed after the loss.

The Hokies’ exceptional run via the ACC area started Wednesday with a last-second win over No. 10 Clemson. They upset No. 2 Notre Dame on Wednesday before dominating No. 3 UNC in Friday’s semifinal.

“These guys have earned the precise,” Coach Okay stated motioning to his staff. “And the staff we performed was undecided in the event that they made the event due to all of the prognosticators. They punched their ticket vehemently tonight, and God bless them, they deserve it.”

Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils walk off the court after their loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC title game.

Virginia Tech led 42-39 at halftime — the Hokies additionally held a slight benefit of their first and solely recreation in opposition to Duke on Dec. 22 — behind 17 factors from Cattoor and a 3-point barrage that gave the Hokies a seven-point edge late within the first half. 

They made 7 of 10 from past the arc with Cattoor hitting all 4 of his makes an attempt. Duke was led by Paolo Banchero’s 10 factors however failed to make use of a notable dimension benefit within the publish. The Blue Devils completed the half with one offensive rebound however have been capable of convert on 7 of eight free-throw makes an attempt. 

Banchero completed the night time with a team-high 20 factors whereas Virginia Tech’s Keve Aluma added 19.

Coach Okay pulled his starters with 1:14 left within the recreation, permitting his grandson, Michael Savarino, to take the court docket with different Duke reserves and play out the loss. 

“We transfer on to the subsequent one,” Duke’s Wendell Moore stated after the loss. “Tomorrow we will see the place we’re seeded at after which we simply go from there. We get a few days of fine observe with a purpose to prep for who now we have. We have to overlook about this one. The sport is already over.”   

David Thompson is an award-winning reporter for the USA Right now Community masking NC State and Duke athletics. He might be reached at dthompson1@gannett.com, at 828-231-1747, or on Twitter at @daveth89.